Gem Legacy Adds Melissa Quick to Board of Directors
The president of Chicago’s Steve Quick Jewelers has traveled to the sites in Africa where the nonprofit works.
Quick traveled to East Africa with Gem Legacy in 2018, visiting gem mines and meeting the miners.
As the retailer saw the impact the industry could have on these communities firsthand, she stepped up her support of the nonprofit and started targeting specific projects with her store’s fundraising efforts.
Steve Quick Jeweler started by contributing scholarship funds for students at the Gemology and Gem Faceting School in Arusha, Tanzania.
“Training Africans to cut gems closer to the source helps distribute the profits of the supply chain more equitably and allows African artisanal miners to reinvest in their communities,” Quick said.
Since the pandemic started, the jeweler also has contributed to Gem Legacy’s initiative to supply food and safety supplies like masks, water, and soap to mining communities as well as funds for breakfasts and lunches to the Kitarini Primary School in northern Tanzania, where Gem Legacy helps provide for 800 children of ruby miners.
“I am ‘all in’ on Gem Legacy, and its vital initiatives, and I’m thrilled to accept this board position. Jewelry is a notoriously difficult product category for those of us interested in responsible sourcing,” Quick said.
“Our customers are asking questions, and Gem Legacy helps us tell an important story about how the jewelry industry is contributing to positive change. I look forward to making meaningful contributions to the organization and furthering its mission to empower those at the beginning of the supply chain.”
Quick, along with her husband and business partner Steve, is also a member of the American Gem Society, Jewelers of America, and Women’s Jewelry Association.
The Quicks also support industry initiatives like Mercury Free Mining and the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference.
She joins Craig Danforth, Peggy Jo Donahue, Ben Smithee, and Monica Stephenson on the board.
Gem Legacy, dedicated to education, vocational training, and local economies in small, artisanal gemstone mining communities in Africa, launched in 2018.
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